MADISON, Wis. — As part of the state budget Gov. Scott Walker signed into law last fall, several interoperability programs — including Next Generation 911, Land Mobile Radio (LMR), WISCOM and FirstNet — were transferred to the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs (DMA). The change consolidated the various programs under one agency for improved coordination.

DMA established the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) and selected Tom Czaja as director. Team members include Molly Boss as supervisor; Jessica Jimenez, 911/FirstNet program manager; Josh Ripp, WISCOM program manager; Gene Oldenburg, LMR/Interoperability program manager and Laurie VanderJagt, operations assistant.

The budget bill also required creating a governor-appointed 19-member subcommittee on 911. The new committee includes representatives of private and public stakeholder groups, and is part of the State Interoperability Council. Their statutory mandate is to advise and assist OEC.

OEC has been reviewing interoperability programs and establishing a path forward. This includes working with Wisconsin Department of Administration to develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) for an ESInet system in Wisconsin to provide connectivity for Next Gen 911 at dispatch centers and another RFP to replace the aging statewide radio system. Both RFP processes should be completed this fall.

With the many changes in interoperability, DMA will provide regular updates on the status of the four main programs. Given the makeup and participation of the various committees, these communications should come as no surprise as the key stakeholder groups are represented on the Interoperability Committee, the established subcommittees, and the newly formed Next Gen 911 subcommittee.

Any interoperability program questions can be directed to OEC at or 608-888-5501. To receive the updates, please subscribe at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/WIDMA/subscriber/new?category_id=WIDMA_C7